Citizenship revocation or anti-social behavior courses?

British tories argue over how to deal with salafist extremists

According to british authorities, the terrorist group has "islamic state" (is) recruited at least 500 british citizens to work for them in iraq and syria. If these british citizens are not killed by the syrian army or kurdish militias, they pose a potential problem for the security of the remaining 64 million britons, because they can travel to their homeland and carry out terrorist attacks at any time.

The conservative home secretary theresa may responded to this problem by, among other things, announcing that she would require salafist extremists to attend courses against anti-social behavior – so-called asbos removals. After this proposal, she earned ridicule not only from the opposition labour faction, but also from parliamentarians from her own tory ranks.

The spokesman for her critics is home affairs politician david davis, who wrote in an opinion piece for the daily mail that it was hard to imagine that followers of the cut-throat sect would now be afraid of such training "quaking in their boots".

Instead, he suggests that britons who demonstrably served the caliphate should be treated, without regard to diplomatic recognition of that entity, as citizens who swore allegiance to a foreign and hostile state and thereby voluntarily relinquished their british citizenship. In fact, numerous is propaganda videos show albanians, chechens, and other nationalities grinding their passports together and joining together to form the is "islamic state" confess. Until now, britons have been able to have torn passports reied relatively easily and travel the world with them, which the computer scientist sees as another source of danger.

However, davis believes that whether a british salafist in syria or iraq has actually lost his citizenship should only be decided by a proper court in a due process of law. Before that, however, the government would have to create the legal conditions for it.

David davis. Photo: robert sharp / english pen. License: cc by 2.0.

Such a revocation of citizenship would be, in the opinion of the former shadow cabinet minister of the interior, a milder means than many of the "unbritish" and "counterproductive" anti-terrorism measures ied during the reigns of tony blair and gordon brown, because it does not unreasonably interfere with the freedom of innocent citizens, but only hits those who are judicially secured guilty. If, on the other hand, the possibilities for entry are left as they are, davis believes that this will also harm british muslims in particular, who could be subject to general suspicion if citizens fear that is fighters are among them.

To illustrate the appropriateness of his proposal, the stepson of a jewish printer resorts to a drastic comparison: if his biological father (a welshman), had absconded to germany during world war ii and joined the nazis, he would surely have been tried at the time for high treason. According to davis, what the british salafists are doing in syria and iraq is even "worse", like the "self-righteous sadism" in the video of the beheading of james foley, whose fate is "thousands of innocent iraqis and syrians" shared. In the opinion of the deputy, they were only "beheaded, crucified or buried alive", because the "propaganda machinery" of the islamic state had to be fed.

In germany, from where at least 400 salafists left for the caliphate, the federal prosecutor general and several prosecutors’ offices are currently investigating at least 139 people accused of calling the "islamic state" or supports other terrorist groups or "serious state-threatening acts of violence" to have planned. Here, section 28 of the nationality act (stag) stipulates that a german loses his or her nationality when he or she is "armed bandage" serving a state that is not a member of the eu, nato or efta, and also has the nationality of that state.